Frederick fails to show up at arraignment for assault

Posted: Friday, June 28, 2002

Joseph Frederick, accused of encouraging the random beating of a Juneau-Douglas High School student, missed his Thursday arraignment at Juneau District Court.

His lawyer, Doug Mertz, told the court that Frederick had "moved away from Juneau and he's on his way to Texas."

Judge Peter Froehlich said he would set a new date for the arraignment, and told Mertz that Frederick was required to be present.

"If he left town after being served a summons, there may be a separate charge filed by the city or the state," Froehlich added.

Frederick is charged with two counts of fourth-degree solicitation of an assault, a misdemeanor, stemming from an April 16 incident. He allegedly offered to give two high school students a ride if they would punch another student. The students' names were not given in the prosecutor's affidavit describing the incident.

One of the students, C.W., told police he refused. The other student, R.E., agreed, the affidavit said. Frederick drove the students to Behrends Avenue near Highland Drive and pointed out the student he wanted them to hit, the affidavit said. R.E. allegedly complied, punching the student in the face.

According to the affidavit, R.E. told JDHS Assistant Principal Kathryn Milliron about Frederick's role in the incident, and she notified the police.

Frederick, a recent JDHS graduate, first came to public attention when he held up a banner reading "Bong hits 4 Jesus" during the Olympic Torch Relay in January. The school district suspended Frederick, who has sued them in federal court for violating his right to free speech. The lawsuit has not been resolved.

Regarding Frederick's missed arraignment, Assistant District Attorney Sue McLean said the DA's office would "wait and see what happens."

"The truth is, we don't have any power prior to someone's arraignment to tell them that they can't leave town," McLean said. "But a summons normally means that someone should appear for court."

Mertz refused to comment.

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